By Andrew Andrews

How would you react if someone close to you was bullied?

What would you do?

What if they were bullied for being gay?

And what if it was more than just bullying?

What if they were… tortured?

A hate crime.

And the authorities didn’t care.

If they claimed they couldn’t do anything about it?

And you weren’t in America, but in Vladamir Putin’s Russia?

Frank J. Avella’s Lured is a story of extremes, an exploration of the lengths vigilantes will go to in order to defend their passions.

Co-directed (with the playwright) by, and featuring, Carlotta Brentan, along with Cali Gilman, John DiMinio, Kalen J. Hall, Marc Lombardo, Brendan Daugherty and David Joseph Volino, it’s an intense, violent, heart-wrenching story about a young gay man victimized after the passing of Russia’s “gay propoganda law.”

The plot unfolds entirely in a sparse, decrepit St. Petersburg apartment (Steven Medina) in 2014 (with a couple of brief, non-sequitur interludes before a black curtain at the edge of the stage), where the neighbors don’t give a damn what happens to a “gay, faggot or homo.”

Lured is a play about humanity and how people can easily be swayed into doing unspeakable things,” says Avella, “to explore notions of hate and how no one is born to hate, it’s a learned trait.”

Unspeakable things, indeed: on the big screen this production would definitely earn an NC-17 rating… so leave the kids at home, as well as the squeamish.

The team heads to Rome in January for the OnStage! American Theater Festival, but there’s still time to catch a performance at Theater for the New City’s Cino Theater in the East Village before Thanksgiving.

Check it out, then come back here and tell us how it made you feel.

Your reviews can help lure others to the production (or scare them away!), and your ratings help us help you find future performances you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended Lured at Theater for the New City Cino Theater in Manhattan on Friday, November 9, 2018 @ 5:00pm to write this review.